Kawasaki takes season's first podiums in MX1 and MX2
With nearly two months to the opening round of the FIM World Motocross Championships, the season opener on the hillside overlooking the Rhone valley was more about blowing off the winter cobwebs and getting back into the swing of things than actually winning, and all of the official Kawasaki riders at the event came through the first test with flying colours.

Paulin in particular was clearly intent on establishing a good rhythm for the strenuous year ahead and he wisely declined to get involved in any hectic tussles whilst maintaning a solid pace which was rewarded with second place on the day from 4-2-3 moto finishes. The ease with which he achieved this result on his return to the Kawasaki ranks, and in his first race for the Kawasaki Racing Team, confirmed that he will be a major player in the FIM MX1 World Championship this summer.

Xavier Boog, Paulin's teammate at KRT, also enjoyed a solid opening to the season, a single error in the first moto denying him a shot at joining Paulin on the podium. In his third year with the Kawasaki Racing Team, Boog had made a superb start to the opening moto, holding down an initial second place to confirm the all-important starting performance of the new KX450F-SR before a small riding error forced him to charge back through from the back of the field. Third and fourth places in the later races saw him classified fourth on the day.

Bud Racing Kawasaki Valentin Teillet was Kawasaki's only official representative in the MX2 category, and the energetic rider came through his debut with flying colours as he charged hard all day to secure second place overall.

After recording fastest time during the morning qualification Teillet shot into the lead from pole in the opening moto and led for ten minutes before relinquishing the lead as he started to suffer with the inevitable early season stiff forearms. A similar ride in race two left the 21 year old securely in charge of second overall on the day and he sensibly took no risks in the combined MX1/MX2 race which concluded the day's programme, doing sufficient to maintain his overall placing in the MX2 class.

Gautier Paulin: "Here in Valence we never want to take any risks; it's just the first race of the season but the track was very well prepared for the races. My first race was the worst one this weekend, I had a good jump off the grid but then I lost some traction in the first meters and I was only fifteenth after a few corners. I came back to fourth, not so far from Leok, so I was riding well. We changed some settings for the following races, and I got two good results with a second and a third position. Those are positive results for us; now we have several other races both in the sand and on hard pack before the first Grand Prix."

Xavier Boog: "It's the first time I ever achieved such good results here in Valence; as always this race is a good opportunity to see what I still have to do before the first GPs. When I crashed at the same place as last year in the first race I looked behind me to make sure that I was safe from other riders before I rejoined the race, and I was able to put this incident out of my mind for the rest of the day and had two good races. I'm pleased with my starts; it was good to battle near the front. Next week I will race at Hawkstone Park, and then we've scheduled tests in the sand and two rounds of the Dutch series to prepare for the opening GP at Valkenswaard in Holland."

Valentin Teillet: "It was a good weekend. It's just a pre-season race but I took it seriously, as did most of my rivals. I got good results in the practice sessions with the pole position in the qualifying, and grabbed two holeshots today ! That is really positive, but unfortunately during the races I had some troubles with my arms and couldn't stay with Tonus. Second overall in not bad; we could saw that I can work well with Jacky Vimond and the entire team, and now we have several rounds of the French Elite series to finalize our preparation for the GPs."
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